Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr & Lance Archer) (c) vs Big in USA (Chris Hero & Colt Cabana)
GHC Tag Team Championship
Taped 12/23/2015, aired 12/27/2015
Ota Ward Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan
Everyone’s got a silly outfit on for their entrance, and it’s pretty silly and great. We start things hot with Big in USA taking it right to the champions, and we even get a teased dive from Hero and a pretty fantastic Asai moonsault from Cabana. It’s strange that, while Hero is the one doing the vast, vast majority of the offense for his team, Cabana has a charisma and a way of directing traffic in the ring that really brings the team together. What I’m saying is that Big in USA is more than the sum of its parts. KES are quickly able to isolate Hero, though (which includes a hell of a chokeslam from Archer on Hero, who is no small man), and use their considerable size and superior teamwork to take him out and prevent Cabana from getting involved. Hero’s able to get shots out (real good shots, as he’s a world-class striker) and try to get to his corner, but KES do well to stay on him and make him struggle for every inch he advances. When Davey Boy slaps a sharpshooter on Hero when he kicks out of a pin attempt, Cabana comes in to break it up but is cut off by Archer, who brings him down and locks him in a cloverleaf. Big in USA then sort of hold hands and crawl together to get to the ropes and break up their respective submissions at the same time, and it’s super cute. Archer grabs a chair from ringside and brings it into the ring, knocking out the referee when he tries to take the chair from him. He wedges it between the top and middle rope in the corner and goes to rush Hero into it, but Hero ducks out of the way and sends Archer head-first into the chair, and he rocks his dome pretty hard. Cabana comes in on the hot tag and does his thing with Davey Boy, and the crowd really digs it, and hey, so do I. Big in USA get a pair of fun nearfalls that I also enjoy, and Cabana does this weird-ass faux-Samoan Drop gutbuster on the top rope that I can’t quite explain. KES are able to hit a quick Killer Bomb on Cabana but Hero breaks the pinfall up at the last second to keep his team alive before Davey Boy sends him right back out of the ring again. Cabana ducks a spinebuster/middle rope clothesline attempt and hits a DDT, sending Davey Boy to the outside before tagging in Hero. Hero hits a trio of big boots on Archer, avoiding his chokeslam, and puts him down for a two count with a number of big elbow strikes. Hero goes blow for blow with Davey Boy but falls to the teamwork of KES and Cabana has to slide in the ring to break up the pinfall. He also breaks up a Killer Bomb attempt on Hero but only manages to eat one himself before KES hit Hero with the Killer Bomb. Somehow, Hero kicks out, and it’s a really solid falsie that I bit hard, but Hero isn’t able to endure a powerbomb/middle rope clothesline combo, and KES retain the titles. Not spectacular in any sense, but the definition of a serviceable title match, and these guys all have finer points that I can appreciate, so it’s hardly a waste of time.